Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
City: Big Rock
Office sought: Kane Auditor
Family: Marty and I have been married for 37 years. We have one daughter. Sarah has been married to Sean Herron for 2 years.
Occupation: My education and experience is as an accountant and auditor. Before starting my own company, I was the Corporate Controller and Chief Financial Officer of a multi-state manufacturing company for nearly 16 years. I also spent 3 years in public accounting
Education: Bachelor of Science Degree, Accounting Major, Finance Minor University of Evansville Recently completed a ten hour continuing education program through the Illinois Association of County Auditors.
Civic involvement: My family attends Orchard Valley Community Church in Aurora, where we also volunteer in the Children's Ministry. My family also volunteers weekly at the Equine Dreams therapeutic riding center providing no cost services to local clients with special needs. We volunteer at the Between Friends Food Pantry in Sugar Grove. I previously coached girls' basketball at Hinckley-Big Rock HS for 5 years. I have coached and sponsored all levels of youth basketball, softball and soccer. Through our farm we also support local 4H and FFA programs.
Elected offices held: I am currently serving my third term as an elected Precinct Committeeman. I am also serving as an appointed Trustee for the Village of Big Rock.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
My campaign has been based upon three qualities essential to performing the duties of the County Auditor. Those are integrity, independence and innovation. The public justifiably demands complete and unquestioned integrity from elected officials. Bill Keck has set the "gold standard" for integrity as County Auditor, and I promise to continue to follow that example.
Key Issue 2
The County Auditor must also maintain complete independence in order to effectively serve the people. While I look forward to working with the County Chairman and the County Board, I will not be working for them. My responsibility is to the citizens of Kane County, and as County Auditor I promise that my ultimate accountability will always be to the public.
Key Issue 3
The County Auditor must also be innovative. New technologies to process and analyze financial are developed almost daily. The County Auditor must be able to adapt to those changes - implementing improvements, constantly evaluating new risks, and taking a proactive approach to safeguarding the assets and resources of the County.
One of the items the auditor looks at is whether county board members have filled out their economic interest statements. Do you believe as auditor you should also review whether any conflicts of interest are contained in those statements?
The County Auditor serves the public as a financial advocate in a variety of ways. In addition to internal operational audits and the oversight of departmental internal controls, the County Auditor also evaluates where and how County money is spent. I believe that a review of economic interest statements would be complementary to a strengthened Kane County Ethics Ordinance. For example, in DuPage County, the Chairman and County Board Members must disclose their financial interests and holdings in any business seeking a relationship with the County where they have an ownership interest of 7 ?% or greater. Establishing such a criteria would allow the County Auditor to make an independent and impartial review of the economic interest filings.
Do you support the creation of a revised economic interest statement that would see elected officials disclose more details of their personal finances?
I fully support the concept of transparency in the conduct of county business. I am already on record of favoring the DuPage ethics ordinance which requires the Chairman and County Board Members to disclose their financial interests and holdings in any business seeking a relationship with the County where they have an ownership interest of 7 ?% or greater. To date, we have been unable to come up with an ethics ordinance in Kane County that is both more meaningful AND enforceable. In the absence of such an ordinance, a more inclusive economic interest statement might be an alternative.
How do you resolve the ongoing debate over the county board setting budgets for departments run by other elected officials over whom the county board has no control? How should the county board enforce the budgets it sets?
The very fact that the county board does not have budgetary authority over every department means that the solution must come from the source of the authority. In this case, Springfield. Unfortunately, the County Auditor is not in a position to resolve either the debate or the problem itself. The Auditor reviews budgetary performance, issues reports and makes recommendations to the Chairman and the Board. I intend to take a collaborative approach to work with the Chairman, the Board, the Finance Director and other department heads to develop and implement improvements for making the budget easier to understand and to use as a financial resource. The Auditor does not, however, have the authority to enforce the budget.
Will you voluntarily adopt the county's more stringent ethics ordinance for yourself, your office and your employees?
I absolutely support the strongest possible ethics ordinance for Kane County. The public deserves to have complete and total confidence that the elected officials and county employees working for them are completely beyond reproach. I previously mentioned the DuPage County Ethics Ordinance. The Kane County Board has considered adopting a similar ordinance. I am disappointed that, for any number of reasons, to date, they have been unable to agree on acceptable enforceable language. However, it seems common sense to me that we should all at least agree on the same stated purpose for an ethics ordinance. That being, it is the goal of the Kane County Board to guarantee fair, efficient, and honest government and to ensure the integrity and objectivity of its Chairman, County Board Members and employees.
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Candidate did not respond.